Even though Pokémon GO is the most downloaded game of all time, the company still sees a decline in user data base everyday. Niantic Labs have taken note of the situation and they’re implementing some changes to retain the number. The company is now reversing bans and adding some previously announced features like support for Pokémon GO Plus and Buddy Pokémon. Moreover, the update is not positive all around. See what’s new in the details mentioned below.
Pokemon GO, despite its relatively short lifespan on the mobile games market, has gone through many different iterations. What began as a buggy yet addictive mobile app has successfully managed to transition through the loss of 15 million daily Pokemon GO users and into a game that has made noticeably large strides toward upgrading its features and overall performance. The development team behind Pokemon GO has been busy attempting to meet the expectations of over 200 million players, and unbelievably, the process has been met with fan support in recent weeks.
Earlier this month, Niantic Labs dropped the hammer on third-party Pokemon tracking websites for Pokemon Go, at the same time disabling in-game tracking. It was a move that drew criticism from players, particularly when it was taken a step further and accounts using third-party map applications began to receive permanent bans.
In a post today, Niantic announced that a “small subset” of banned accounts that used add-on map apps would be reinstated, as the users in question may not have realized that these apps “do more than just show you nearby Pokemon.” The developer remains firmly against the use of third-party services, but will be giving the aforementioned “small subset” a second chance.
“Some players may not have realized that some add-on map apps do more than just show you nearby Pokemon,” the post reads. “Each end-user app can be used as a collection tool by the app creator, invisibly collecting and forwarding data to the app creator with or without the knowledge of the end user. These apps can have an effect similar to DDoS attacks on our servers. Because of this we have had to ban some accounts associated with using these add-on map tools, leading to confusion by some users about why they were banned.”
The post goes on to state that a number of changes have allowed the developer to unban specific accounts, reminding users that “add-on maps which scrape data from our servers still violate our Terms of Service,” and anyone who uses them will receive a ban moving forward. Accounts that existed for the purpose of “scraping data” will not be unbanned, nor will accounts that used third-party services to remotely capture Pokemon, hit PokeStops, or battle in Gyms.
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“Our main priority is to provide a fair, fun, and legitimate experience for all players, so, aggressive banning will continue to occur for players who engage in these kinds of activities.”
Well, it wasn’t going to last forever. The meteoric rise of Pokémon Go this summer has finally ended, with new stats from Axiom Capital Management showing that daily active user and engagement rates have been dipping since mid-July.
Is Pokemon Go respecting your privacy when it comes to the amount of data it collects? That’s a question you should ask yourself considering that the game does require you to provide the game unlimited access to your location data and camera. And you’d think you should not be worried about Niantic swiping over your data for malicious use – or even spying purposes.
The maker of Pokémon Go has revealed why it removed a tracking feature that was being used by third-party developers to offer Pokémon-tracking maps.
Niantic, the developer of the popular augmented-reality game, removed the “three-step tracking” feature in the app’s first major update.
That meant tools such as Pokéhound and Pokévision were forced to stop operating, as they used the feature to offer their Pikachu hunting maps.
Following outrage from players, Niantic has revealed the reasons for the move on the official Pokémon Go Facebook page – and suggested the feature could return in the future.
“We have removed the ‘three-step’ display in order to improve upon the underlying design,” the post reads. “The original feature, although enjoyed by many, was also confusing and did not meet our underlying product goals. We will keep you posted as we strive to improve this feature.”
Niantic also said use of the feature by third-party developers was “interfering with our ability to maintain quality of service for our users and to bring Pokémon GO to users around the world.” The game has suffered outages brought on by high demand – reports suggest the app has been downloaded more than 100 million times already.
Some maps found ways around the tracking ban, however, including Smart Poké 2 – so Niantic will have to keep working if it wants to shut ’em all down.
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The latest Pokémon Go update has highlighted the tenuous position of third-party developers building on popular games or online services.
Pokémon Go creator Niantic yesterday yanked the “footprint tracking” feature that pointed players to nearby Pokémon, helping them more easily add local Bellsprouts, Hypnos and other characters to their collection.
However, the footprint tool has been used by third-party developers to build apps and sites to game the system, letting users find exactly where rare Pokémon are hiding, without having to wander aimlessly around their local park or stumble down streets staring at their smartphone.
Such tools, including Pokéhound and Pokévision, are now broken. “You don’t invent Marco Polo, get 80m players to join, then remove the Polo part and expect people to keep playing,” said Pokévision co-founder Yangcheng Liu on Twitter. Pokévision said on Twitter yesterday: “At this moment, we are respecting Niantic and Nintendo’s wishes.”
But third-party developers shouldn’t be surprised. Niantic Labs CEO John Hanke said last week he is not a fan of tools such as Poké Radar that show players exactly where to find rare Pokémon, and hinted such sites would be shut down in future.
“Yeah, I don’t really like that,” he told Forbes. “Not a fan. We have priorities right now but they might find in the future that those things may not work.”
He added: “People are only hurting themselves because it takes some fun out of the game. People are hacking around trying to take data out of our system and that’s against our terms of service.”
Aside from damaging gameplay – or helping it, depending on your point of view – third-party tools can add to server demand, already a problem for the popular game. Reports suggest Niantic has also sent cease-and-desist letters to Pokémon tracking tools.
It’s not the first time third-party developers have been caught out by trying to add services to a successful app. Twitter has frequently drawn the ire of developers with its API changes, and in 2011 slapped down those trying to make third-party clients.
CEO Jack Dorsey this year apologised for Twitter’s poor treatment of developers. “We need to make sure we are servicing all of our organisations and developers in the best way because that is what is going to make Twitter great,” he added, according to Fortune. Perhaps one day Hanke will feel the same about Pokémon trackers?
The Pokémon Go change has also caught out some users, who are demanding refunds from the game in protest.
Players can make in-app purchases for items to help them capture Pokémon, and reports suggest they’re getting refunds when asked from Apple. Google appears to require users to contact support for refunds.
Alongside removing the Pokémon tracking footprint feature, Niantic has also added the ability for users to re-customise their avatars and tweaked how the game counts battle damage, and fixed a few bugs.
If you can say nothing else about Pokémon Go, at the very least you must admit that it’s a phenomenon to a degree that’s rarely seen in gaming.In a matter of a week, this new mobile take on Nintendo’s long-running role-playing game series has grown astoundingly popular. It has consumed social media conversation, flooded into mainstream news reports and had an impact on the everyday life of many players, in a physical, outside-the-game way. So … is it any good?
POKEMON GO is one of the biggest mobile games ever, but don’t mistake it for the solution to Nintendo’s problems. If anything, it’s a symptom.
The mobile app, which encourages players to go outside and wander around catching and collecting virtual monsters, topped the App Store’s “Top Grossing” chart faster than any game in history. At one point, it had more daily active users than Candy Crush Saga, making it the USA’s most widely played mobile game ever.
Pokémon GO should not be played while driving a car. Plain and simple. After all, Red, Ash, and the rest of the gang never used a car to get around. They always used a bike, and even that is dangerous in the real world!
It is when you drive and play Pokémon GO at the same time, thinking you can get away with it, that the mighty reach of divine justice crashes in. Take this player for example, who drove himself into another car while on a hunting cruise.
And not just any car, but… a police car. And to make matters worse, it was all caught on camera, giving the police the evidence they need, and the Internet all the ammo required for abusive finger pointing.
Oops. Don’t be stupid, and don’t Pokémon GO and drive. It’s the law.